In Graduate School, A Famous Poet Insults Me During His Workshop
And I don't say, "One day when I'm famous," because whatever, I get it. Because girls from the trailer park don't become famous, even if the trailer park has nothing to do with it, even if it has nothing to do with how every problem is a fistfight, every wet spark plug is disaster. I don't say anything because even the trailer park boys have yet to become famous, not for their slow pivots or double doubles, their drawings of topless ladies, the basketball shorts they wear beneath their jeans, the children who can't stand the motor oil on their hands. I don't say anything to the poet because where I'm from saying something is saying nothing, like the geometry teacher who ripped up my paper for not showing my work, who I didn't tell, "All my work is behind a locked door, between the sound of someone's grandpa's muffler and someone's girlfriend's drama. All my Monday work is back on Friday, you JCPenney bitch, you tennis-elbow fraud." I don't say anything cause no one I know says nothing, except brother whose said too much already, and where did that get him? (No seriously. Have you seen him? We haven't heard from him all year.) I don't say anything because one time I heard a poem that said, "We are all who we say we are; we are a street light that stays on all winter." The poem did not talk less than, greater than, the hypotenuse of a hotel hallway. It did not say, "Hey come back here. I'm talking to you. "It said instead, "Girl, you are a daydream, an extra-sour tearjerker. You're a weak link in the power grid, and you're about to set this whole damn city on fire."
Sarah Carson was born and raised in Michigan but now lives in Chicago. She is the author of three chapbooks and two full-length collections of poetry: Poems in which You Die (BatCat Press) and Buick City (Mayapple Press). Read more of her work at www.sarahamycarson.com .